Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cool and Gigantic

So, confession: I have only really been interested in sumo for a little less than a year. Sure, when I was in Japan a few years ago (time flies!) I heard about it a little from my Japanese friends, but it wasn't a big part of what I was doing at the time. One time I was in a car and the play-by-play of a sumo bout was being broadcast on the radio. I didn't know any of the technical sumo jargon, so the words went whizzing past my ears and made no sense at the time. The friend driving explained a little about what was going on. She was really excited about the match, saying it was a big one, and she had a favorite for the win. At the time, such a thought boggled my mind. I was an American--and we were just not going to go there.

Then, I heard about a guy, an American, who had been there in Japan, but then went home and gained a bunch of weight. He was a big guy to start with, pretty tall, red headed. Rumor had it he had returned to Japan and was wanting to try to get into a sumo stable. My Japanese friend said, "Wilson is back! And he is gigantic!" I loved hearing her say "gigantic." (And I don't remember the guy's real name. Lucky to remember my own most days. Suffice it to say, he didn't become a big star of the sumo ring.)

Still, the moment sitting there in the back seat of that sedan with the enthuisasm of the sumo announcer calling the plays made an impression, and I can still remember how much energy emanated from the moment. Sumo has an energy, that's what I'm convinced of.

My brother in law and I were talking sumo the other day. He had a description of it where he will be sitting there flipping channels on his satellite and he will get into the upper ESPN channels, flip-flip-flip-flip, and suddenly light on a sumo match. Pauzzzzzzzzzze. "Whoa. What is that?" He got this mesmerized look on his face to show how he stares at a sumo match. "Coooool."

I think he's right. I am dying to see a real match--in person would be "coooooool." Or "gigantic."

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